I watched as the animal meandered through the dense brush, disappearing occasionally only to reappear closer than it was before. Suddenly I thought that I saw sun glinting off an antler. I raised my crossbow to my shoulder, located the deer in the scope and was delighted to discover that the fat doe I had been watching was a “Poke `em Young” buck. It was show time! Immediately the context of the moment changed. The first surge of adrenaline immediately swept over my system causing tremors to ripple through my body as an increase in blood pressure made my eyes feel like they were being squeezed in a vice. Oh how I love the very instant the decision is made to shoot! It is the point in time that all hunters work towards and live for, the moment of truth and ultimate test. And as the buck continued to close the gap that separated us, I prepared for my final exam.
The nearer the animal came, the more it angled directly towards my position. Straight out in front of me was a 4-wheeler trail that would give me a clear shot out to forty yards, but as the animal angled closer, I knew that it would probably be under twenty when the it cleared the brush. As luck would have it, the whitetail stepped onto the trail right in front of my twenty-yard marker and then started to turn away from me. I had been focused on the spot even before the fledgling buck entered the kill zone so when it began to turn, my finger quickly applied pressure to the trigger of my bow. As the bow’s bark shattered the quiet landscape, the arrow was launched, entered the hapless whitetail at mid-body, just short of the rib cage, exiting behind the scapula on the opposite side of the animal and buried its head deeply into the rich, black soil.
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